Monday, September 5, 2016

Is it the 'Coast' or is it something else?

Since moving to the Thames Coast, there have been a few notable changes in my life. My health is much improved and I seem to be---calmer. That of course does not prevent me from letting loose on here from time to time---but----

    Just a few short months ago I was working as a counsellor in an Auckland school. That was 'stimulating,' but after nearly 30 years in the same job, but in different schools, one has to accept that there is a 'use by' date, whereby 'things' catch up with you. Others may call that state, 'hitting the wall.' Had I---the answer would be---'it depends who you talk to.'

   Let's put the above 'question' aside and look at what  happened that led me to decide to leave the big city, I had a few warnings. Yes, I had been through the 'Bariatric surgery journey and had probably saved my life by shedding about 40 kilos. There was an immediate health benefit and a noticeable improvement in my outlook on life generally. Many insidious life threatening 'ailments' simply disappeared, including type two diabetes and sleep apnea, plus there was better control over cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

    However, there was still the stress, combined with the feeling that I was getting nowhere, financially. For various reasons, which some would put down to  BAD planning, I was in a postilion that debt seemed to be stalking me, in a manner that was suggesting that life was a never ending excuse to seek diversions. Spending money was a stupid answer, but one that had been part of my 'therapy.' An intervention, not of my choosing was just around the corner. I met it head on----New Years Day, 2016!

    I ended up in Auckland Hospital with possible heart issues and being a crazy time of the year, they kept me in for a week. That was good as it allowed the specialists to get to the bottom of the problem. I have nothing but praise for New Zealand's free public health system. I was treated magnificently and I now have a management plan for the condition I have. It's quite a common one---Atrial Fibrillation, and with the right support, it is manageable . Initially it was a bit frightening, and some of the triggers, were unknown to me at the time, making for increased anxiety.

    I need to digress for a moment. For a few years, I had been entertaining the possibility of leaving the city of Auckland, but I could not make the leap between actually planning it and doing it. I made up all sorts of excuses, whilst checking the fantasy of ----'where,' if I ever did.' One place that continually entered my thoughts---and dreams was the Thames Coast. But---I put those thoughts on the back burner, thinking that I would never actually do it.

    That week in hospital and the ramifications as to my future if I stayed in a high pressure job, combined with that 'financial wall,' coalesced  into an action plan. I discussed my concerns and plans with my partner and we came to a decision to start looking for a home in Thames. I had already seen a two and within a few weeks we had visited the town and checked out these homes, agreeing on the one we now live in---a very modest little two bedroom 1950's retro home, not far from the beach at Tararu.

   Things moved rapidly from that moment and a decision to leave my employment happened even faster. I was able to secure an early release and looking back---maybe a bit too fast. There were a few 'reminders' that I should have slowed down, as the AF hit back when I overdid things, but here we are---living on the Coast and living a far more balanced life. Sure---I miss aspects of Auckland; my friends and family, but technology comes to the rescue  when the feeling is strong and frequent visits from friends and family fills the gaps. I do not miss the craziness of full-time work and the everyday commute. I am forcibly reminded of just how bad the traffic is in Auckland when I return to see the few clients I now work with, both in a counselling relationship and a supervisory one.

   I am embracing the local community---meeting many people on my walks with Perdy, my crazy Jack Russell---the escapologist! I have started my training to work at the local Citizens Advice bureau and my new obsession with rock collecting and polishing seems to take a bit of time. It's a wonder I have any time to actually work at all!

   There is also a strong possibility that family members will be moving to Thames, one quite soon, so any feelings that I am cut off--are rapidly diminishing. I may find some time to start another book, or work on  one one that has been on the 'burner' for quite a few years. The support group I started re Bariatric Surgery, has totally taken off, now having over 600 members. That takes quite an amount of time--to check and moderate, but  a good friend is helping with that.

   I feel I have a beautiful balance in my life now. Sure---there will be the odd 'curve-ball,' come my way, but that IS life.In the mean time, I shall seek new adventures and report on them, sometimes seriously and at others---well---you know my style, so be warned.


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